The Congress has alleged that the 2019 collapse of the Karnataka government was orchestrated by the BJP using corrupt means in a scheme that it named Operation Kamala or Lotus.
The alleged role played by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa in the 2019 collapse of the Congress-Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) government – dubbed “Operation Kamala” – can be investigated, the Karnataka High Court has said, in a setback for the BJP leader.
The year-old coalition government had collapsed in 2019 after several MLAs from the two parties switched their loyalties to the BJP and resigned.
The Congress has alleged that this was done by the BJP using corrupt means and inducement in a scheme that it named Operation Kamala or Lotus – the election symbol of the BJP.
During the crisis, an audiotape in which Mr Yediyurappa sounds as if he is asking Sharanagouda Patil, the son of an MLA to persuade his father to switch sides was shared by the JDS.
They said it was proof of inducements being offered to coalition MLAs.
Mr Patil later filed a complaint against Mr Yediyurappa but a probe into the matter was earlier put on hold. That inquiry has now been allowed by the court.
The Congress was reacted strongly to the move with the party’s Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeting: “The illegitimate born & Unconstitutionally formed Yediyurappa Govt must now go, OR CM Yediyurappa & his spurious BJP Govt must be sacked ! Will PM Modi now show conviction? Will PM show moral fibre to sack CM? Test for ‘-:NA KHAUNGA, NA KHANE DOONGA” !”
The JDS and the Congress had stitched an alliance after the 2018 Karnataka assembly election to prevent the BJP — which was the single-largest party — from forming the government. JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy became the Chief Minister despite his party winning only 37 seats.
The fragile alliance, however, won only a couple of seats out of 28 in the general election the next year. Within months of the polls, the state government collapsed after failing a trust vote brought about by the resignation of 16 coalition lawmakers.
The BJP’s BS Yediyurappa later formed the government, assuming the Chief Minister’s position.